Installation of Fr Leo Distor, First Filipino Columban Parish Priest of Malate

On the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, 1 May, Columban Fr Leo Distor was installed as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate, Manila, where the Columbans have worked since 1929 having taken the parish at the invitation of Irish-born Archbishop Michael O’Doherty of Manila at a time when the Philippines was desperately short of priests.

Installation Mass. L to R: Fr Distor, Fr De Claro, Fr Patrick O’Donoghue (then Regional Director)

The parish of Malate, one of the oldest in the Philippines, was established on 8 September 1588 by Augustinian friars. Fr Leo Distor, who has worked in the formation of Columban seminarians in Chicago and in Quezon City, is fromMarbel, Mindanao, where he was ordained in 1996. He is the first Filipino Columban parish priest of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.

Fr Leo greeting Fr Dan O’Malley, then Regional Vice-Director and a former parish priest of Malate.

Father Leo was installed by Fr Sanny C. De Claro, Vicar Forane of the Vicariate of Nuestra Señora de Guia, which includes Malate Parish. Fr De Claro is Rector and Parish Priest at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia that also serves as the parish church of Ermita, which is next to Malate.

Fr Leo with friends after the installation Mass.

Fr Leo speaking at the reception afterwards.

Filipino Columban priests at the installation. L to R: Fr Rex Rocamora (China), Fr Philip Bonifacio (Japan), Fr Andrei Paz (China), Fr Leo Distor, Fr Darwin Bayaca (Central Administration, Hong Kong), Fr Cireneo Matulac (Columban House of Studies, Quezon City), Fr Jovito Dales (Vocations, Philippines), Fr Rodolfo Christopher Kaamiño IV (Taiwan).

Frs Cireneo Matulac, Kevin McHugh and Leo Distor.

Website of Malate Church: